Eustachian Tube Problems - Altitude and Air Travel

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Did air travel or a change in altitude cause your Eustachian tube problems? Please share your experience.

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black triangle:

How do changes in altitude or air travel affect Eustachian tube problems?

A rapid change in altitude, and thus air pressure is equalized across the eardrum by a normally functioning Eustachian tube. A healthy tube opens frequently and widely enough to equalize these changes in air pressure. With altitude changes during the descent of an airplane, air pressure increases as the plane lowers. The air pressure change pushes the eardrum inward (retraction). Persons with Eustachian tube blockage can develop fullness of the ear, dulled hearing, and possibly pain when this occurs. Those with poorly functioning Eustachian tubes may experience similar symptoms when riding in elevators, driving through the mountains, or diving to the bottom of a swimming pool. Scuba divers learn tricks to equalize their ear pressures.

Return to Eustachian Tube Problems (Problems Clearing Your Ears)

See what others are saying

Comment from: clb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I can no longer fly or hike in high altitude due to my eustachian tube problems. The tubes work, but the side effects are hard to deal with. I have stuffiness (and lack of some hearing), hearing my pulse in my ears, especially at night; and last time there was some problem with one ear that developed hard black stuff until I could barely hear out of it and had to get it removed.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: PattyC, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I've had problems in the past with flying, so I'm always careful about using the special ear plugs and chewing gum and candy to keep my ears open. Last week, I made the mistake of sleeping through the landing and my left ear became very painful and I couldn't hear. I did have a mild cold at the time. The pain eventually subsided, but I still can't hear (10 days now). I've tried everything and I've never had the problem for this long, so off to the doctor I go. I will never sleep on a plane again.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors